small memories of winter

small memories of winter

it's the first day of winter.
and already evening has come tiptoeing,
wearing new moon for a smile.
we've lit earthen lamps in our balcony
and sit watching their soft flames conversing with the stars.

i tell saanjh how this evening is made special on the ghats of varanasi
with millions of lamps glowing by the riverside
amidst chants and a dense smoke of devotion rising from many hearts.
dev diwali. a festival i'm ethereally drawn to
without ever being physically present
by the ganga to partake in the celebrations.

when her papa returned from work, saanjh lit sparkles sitting in his lap
countless stars came sprinkling out, flooding the night.
as i stood watching, i felt myself turning fluid like a river
amidst the glowing lamps, the new moon,
all the stars in the sky and dancing out of those sparkles
and my own my chanting heart.

later that night i learnt that we were celebrating on the wrong day
the festival was a fortnight ago.

but i couldn't dust off what the night had brought.
so it's magic stayed. real.

. . .

it's a beautiful december morning
the sun’s tenderly holding the earth
while the birds drench the air with their steady singing.

. . .

as if i'm surrounded on all sides
by a garden overrun with beautiful weeds,
the intoxication of poetry buzzes in my mind
making me restless with joy.

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let my thoughts come to you
when I am gone
like the afterglow of sunset
at the margin of starry silence
- rabindranath tagore -